Benny's World

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

JRE, Jack Kemp TF Co-Chairs on Russian-US Relations

From the Council on Foreign Affairs website (as announced on OAC a few minutes ago):

May 31, 2005 - The Council launched an Independent Task Force today to review current U.S. policy toward Russia and make recommendations on future policy-from global security to Russia's evolution as a democratic state. The Task Force is chaired by former Senator and vice presidential candidate John Edwards and former Congressman and Housing and Urban Development Secretary and vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp. Council Senior Fellow Stephen Sestanovich, former ambassador-at-large and special adviser to the secretary of state for the new independent states, directs the Task Force.

"More than a decade and a half after the fall of the Berlin Wall, U.S.-Russian relations continue to follow a pattern in which high hopes for cooperation alternate with disappointment," said Edwards. "Our effort will examine this critical but challenging relationship and suggest a strategy for dealing with our differences and making the most of opportunities to work together."

The Task Force will focus on seven main areas: co-operating against terrorism, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, strategic energy partnerships, (de-)democratization, Russia's relations with its neighbors, Cold War legacy issues, and Chechnya.

"With both President Putin and President Bush now in a second term, prospects for U.S.-Russian cooperation could be strengthened, even on issues where Russian and American interests might not coincide," said Kemp. "Our goal will be to make recommendations in areas where they can make a useful contribution to the public debate."

The bipartisan Task Force is comprised of a diverse group of leading policy practitioners, scholars, and figures from the private sector.

Release of the report is planned for the fall of 2005.

Founded in 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations is an independent national membership organization and a nonpartisan center for scholars dedicated to producing and disseminating ideas so that members, students, interested citizens, and government officials in the United States and other countries can better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other governments.


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